Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)

Have you heard about the minimum energy efficiency standard affecting landlords and property owners? Here are the facts...

What is the minimum energy efficiency standard (MEES)?

Under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, it will be unlawful to let domestic and non-domestic properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F or G from April 2018.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES)

Why has it been introduced?

The legislation was put into place to meet obligations to improve energy efficiency in inefficient properties under the Energy Act 2011, and to meet UK targets of CO2 reduction.

Who does it affect?

From the 1st April 2018, the minimum energy efficiency standard will apply to landlords / property owners upon the granting of a lease to a new tenant and lease renewals to existing tenants, unless exemptions apply.

  • Domestic Properties - MEES will affect an estimated 25% of properties within England and Wales
  • Non Domestic Properties - MEES will affect an estimated 20% of properties with England and Wales

How to comply?

In order to comply, all properties must meet the minimum energy efficiency standard by undertaking permissible, appropriate and cost-effective energy efficiency improvements to meet the minimum EPC rating of E or above. However, there are safeguards in place that allow restrictions on making improvements.

What are the penalties?

Fines can be enforced, dependent on the type of infringement and the length of MEES non-compliance.

Domestic Properties Non Domestic Properties
£1,000 - £5,000 £5,000 - £150,000

What are the exemptions?

Properties which are let on tenancies of more than 99 years and less than six months are excused, along with any properties which are exempt from having an EPC. Assured tenancies under the Housing Act 1988, and regulated tenancies, such as housing associations are also exempt for domestic properties.

Landlords may be exempt from the minimum energy efficiency standard when:

  • Improvements are not cost-effective
  • It has been independently verified that improvements may decrease the value of a property by 5% or more, or in some circumstances, damage the property
  • Third party consent cannot be obtained for the improvements, for example, planning authorities, tenants, lenders etc

The minimum energy efficiency standard will apply to all privately rented domestic properties within the scope of the regulations from the 1st April 2020, followed by non-domestic in 2023.

Exemptions must be registered with the PRS Exemptions Register, which will be available for domestic and non-domestic properties from October 2017. Please be aware, there are also time constraints associated with exemptions.

Are there any rights for tenants and landlords?

Since 2016, tenants have had the right to request reasonable and cost-effective energy efficiency improvements to their rental properties. Landlords cannot unreasonably refuse consent, but are protected against unfeasible measures. A residential tenant may also raise a case with the First-Tier Tribunal General Regulatory Chamber if they feel a landlord is non-compliant with the minimum energy efficiency standard.

Things to remember

  • Landlords will need an EPC before the next time they lease a property
  • EPC may need reassessing due to improved building regulations, which may have decreased previous ratings
  • An EPC rating of E must be achieved, OR achieved by 2018

What to do?

If you are an active DEA or NDEA member and have clients who have interests in the privately rented sector, inform them about the regulations and the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards. Speak to our technical team on 01977 665 420 for advice.

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